On International Men’s Day, I feel it is more important than ever to acknowledge the importance of men’s mental health.

All too often, as males, we are told to ‘toughen up, man up, don’t cry.’ This is a narrative that breeds reticence when it comes to men speaking out about how they feel. It can be uncomfortable for men to open up about their feelings and particularly to ask for help. Male bravado tends to get in the way.

In life, and especially in the workplace, it is vital that we combat this outdated culture and encourage an open, sharing, supportive and non-judgemental environment. When you work as part of a team you’re only ever as strong as your teammates, so being aware of their feelings is crucial. We can’t all always be on our A-game, therefore helping others when they need it is essential.

So, here are top tips for looking after your mental health…

1. Talk

Obtaining professional support can be vital for some. Whilst walking into a counselling session is nerve wracking, the feeling of relief that it brings is incredibly liberating.

2. Don’t be ashamed

If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t be ashamed! It’s an illness not a weakness – ask for help, in the same way you’d seek help for any other concern.

3. Listen to your body

If your body is telling you there’s something wrong – pay attention!

4. Accept that it’s ok, not to be ok

Don’t believe everything you see on social media – plenty of people are hiding behind a façade.

5. Take action

Whether it’s talking to friends and family, seeking professional help, taking time out for walks in fresh air, turning to exercise – whatever helps you – find the time to do it.

For anyone reading this who is looking for some support, there are many free online support services available, the NHS provides online tools through their Every Mind Matters campaign. I encourage you to take a short break, have a few minutes for yourself, and complete Your Mind Plan survey, it just takes a few minutes and could make a big difference to your daily wellbeing.

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